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Jun 06, 2006

Cuteporter: The Historic Anderson (Cat) House


NOTE -- this is a long-winded Theo post. You have now been warned.  ;)

Where should you take your Schmoopie for your 3rd anniversary? Where else but a cat house?

The Historic Anderson House Hotel in Wabasha, Minnesota accepts the unavoidable joke, but there's no hidden meaning here: Their resident cats are the real, literal sort.

We arrived a little late, but well before sundown, and were promptly taken to dinner. It was well presented, generously portioned, and they certainly kept the wines (plural!) coming. The setting on the sun porch was idyllic; it was completely private, with crystal and candles and flowers and A/C and a very nice view of traditional river-town Americana. (Wabasha is "the oldest city in MN" so we're talking about the real thing here.) Our hostess struggled valiantly with an uncooperative CD player to provide background music, which was actually kind of funny; and really, Jaye & I were in a quibble-proof mood, which the wine maaay have enhanced. All in all, it was a lovely dinner.

Our room was a cozy B&B-style haven. We had a very peaceful sitting area, with large windows and all-enveloping wing chairs, where we could sink in and soak up Main Street and Mighty Mississip'. For a while, in fact, there were a couple of twentysomethings a block down with a motorcycle. We couldn't help spying a little. They smooched, they fiddled with their saddlebags, they snogged; they wandered around making expansive arm gestures ("Just LOOK at all of this!"), wandered back, played a little tonsil hockey, groped, and sucked face. Finally they hopped on the bike and rode off parallel to the sunset. Kids.

(You're hearing about these two junior schmoopers 'cause some things Daddy keeps to hisself. You'll make do.)

whirlpool_tub Our suite was not one of the "cat-approved" rooms, sadly. To their credit, Anderson House doesn't declaw their kitters, and claws aren't compatible with antique furniture and wallpaper. To help balance out this lack of feline companionship, the sitting room came equipped with a large whirlpool tub in the back corner, which came equipped with a little squirty duck, who in turn came equipped with a snorkel. The duckie we named Pervert. Possibly Jaye was going to call him Herbert, and I misheard, but then it just seemed to fit.

We checked to make sure the tub worked. It did. It worked quite well. Naughty, naughty duckie.

bubbly_duckChampagne was waiting for us when we returned from dinner.  We packed it up for a future occasion, because there was just no freakin' way.

Breakfast the next morning was hearty country omelets, which were excellent. I'd recommend Anderson House's breakfast to anyone. Plus, they have gnomes. Actually, gnomes can get downright unsettling.

OK OK OK... yes, before we left, we did get to meet the cats. We almost left the roses behind, but we weren't about to leave without saying hi to the furbs. After all, protocols must be observed, or the terrorists win. And I'm pleased to report that all five of Anderson House's felines are fine, fit & friendly. They'd have to be, as Jaye pointed out, but it impressed me to meet 5 personable cats sharing cubby quarters in harmony.

morris_perch arnold_yawn That's Morris, on the far left. Morris is, of course, Anderson House's tiger tabbie, without which no cat house would be complete. Note the characteristic lip freckles.

Next to him is Arnold, caught in a yawn, and a sink. This pic just cries for captions, doesn't it? Hmm...

goblin_f_o_p ginger_room_19 What you don't see here (near right) is that Ginger is a SHOULDER KITTY. How cool is that? "No, that's OK, really, you don't need to put me down. I'm all kinds o' good. Purr. Purr." She didn't even dig her claws in for purchase, like some OTHER cats [ahem]. And while Aloysius (al-oh-ISH-us, their grey-and-white "rookie" cat) was camera-shy, Goblin wasn't. Fuh-LOOF.

weeds<-- Pervert was a total camera slut and stowed away home in the weeds.

Interesting note: I don't know if it was the gnome magics, the river air, the swirly tub, the innate healing powers of felis domesticus... or just drinking a couple of glasses of water with dessert... but by rights we should've had hammer-head hangovers the next morning. And? Not a twinge. We coulda bounced right back into our offices and been sunny & brilliant, if needed. That's worth a Yay -- or two, since it wasn't needed.

FYI, Anderson House is currently celebrating their 150th anniversary, which trumped ours by a factor of 50. In honor of their one-five-oh (and our three-point-oh), we had a chance to draw the "free room" key-fob out of a jar (missed it, alas) and drop our name into a lottery to win an ornately-embroidered kimono. In return, I hipped them to a blog that I thought they might enjoy. (Hi folks! Thanks again!)

Now, I did splurge a bit, with the suite and the "romantic package." It was nice to be taken care of, though. Bottom line, it was a most satisfactory stay, and we left happy and revived. And if you're feeling jealous at all, remember they've got 5 admirable cats, 36 perfectly good rooms & presumably 150 more years. The numbers are in your favor.

(Posting from work? Moi??)

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without even reading it yet--


A thinker
 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 12:16 PM

after reading it: LOL moments galore!!! (especially about the ducky. whew).

A thinker
 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 12:20 PM

I should actually post a pic of Pervert in his new home. He's finally met the big brother he never knew he had.

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 12:22 PM

Theo, I will now forever imagine you writing your posts in an ornately embroidered kimono.

Glad you and Jaye had such a happy time.

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 12:26 PM

LOVELY PLACE! (Don't you just hate it when that darn caps-lock key gets stuck. There... =)

I trust you had a smashing time T. Silly me... how could you not?!

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 12:32 PM

Aubrey -- LOL!
How about adding aviator shades, a fishing hat, and an unlit cigarette in one of those long "Cruella de Ville" filters? I wouldn't want the old manual typewriter, though.

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 12:32 PM

all right, T, now we're gonna want a picture ;) With all of the above props.

A thinker
 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 12:33 PM

Sweet cats all--nothing like that perverse scuba-diving duck. ;)

Taking this animal inn theme a little further...

A giant beagle-shaped B&B:

The White Pig B&B and Animal Sanctuary (check out the home page banner that's currently displayed, "Celebrate your love at the White Pig"):

The Green Cat B&B:


 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 12:34 PM

"Come stay in the world's biggest beagle!"

Holy crap. Meg, can I have a travel budget???

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 12:41 PM

And Thinker -- y'know, I kinda want that pic too. Like, poster-sized.
If we win the kimono, I'll set it up.

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 12:43 PM

T and J, thanks so much for giving us a little peep into your fabulous stay at the *cat* house!

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 12:44 PM

Sounds great, and I'm glad Theo remembered what number anniversary it was... heehee! Thanks for including us!

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 12:46 PM

love the wallpaper in the cat's room,too...

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 12:49 PM

all right, T. perhaps we could arrange a group purchase of one if you don't ;)

A thinker
 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 12:53 PM

Boy, I was confused for a while there. Thought Meg had posted and then people were talking about Theo in a kimono....

Neeways, glad you had a nice anniversary! Don & I celebrated our 4th on 6/1. :o)

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 12:54 PM

Well, Jes, you're a year ahead of us. June the First it is. That's also the date Spot's kittens were born, eight-or-so years ago (all adopted out).

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 12:57 PM

What the hell is this cr@p? I come here to see cute pictures with cute captions -- not to be assaulted with someone's personal infomercial. I don't care about your d@mned anniversary, nor do I care to hear (read) you flogging the many amenities of the Cat House inn ("now accepting reservations"). Save it for your Christmas letter.

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 01:12 PM

Love you too, babe. [kissy noises]

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 01:13 PM

Boy, you can just feel the love on this site today, oh mighty 6-6-6. ;-)

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 01:20 PM

Clearly it's been much too long since anyone took HR on a romantic trip. que lastima!

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 01:26 PM

Oh, sorry, HR--just for an instant we forgot it was all about you.

Or is that HRload.com?

A load o' something, anyhow.

Love ya,

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 01:27 PM

It's so great to encounter posters who take the privacy the internet allows to act like asses to complete strangers. Beautiful.

The cat house looks wonderful, Theo, I'm glad you had a good time.

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 01:31 PM

No, I'd just rather spend my time actually going on my own romantic trips than reading long-winded accounts of yours. Since when did this site become all about you, you, you?

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 01:33 PM

I hesitate to even write this for fear of feeding a troll, but... HR, you might not know that many (OK, several) of us were kinda hoping to hear T.&J.'s report from the cathouse. and a fine report it is. cuteporter indeed! plus the unexpected bonus appearance of Herbert "Duckie" Pervert.

plus, now I have cat pictures with which to ply mon schmoop so he agrees to come to the Anderson House avec moi. (rubs hands together; devilish laughter: MUAHAHAHA)

Account Deleted
 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 01:37 PM

HR, please. we believe you. You don't need to tell us about it--it was a lovely moment between two people enjoying their anniversary, and I for one am happy to read about it.

A thinker
 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 01:38 PM

which reminds me: Aloysius, while camera-shy, is still my choice when I get to go to Anderson House. I just need to remember to nix the 'Romantic package' since those sites aren't cat-friendly.

Account Deleted
 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 01:40 PM

Despite your warnings, Theo, I'm jealous! Maybe it was a good thing your room was not cat-proof because when my bf visited moi we both got kitty-kissed in the morning. Smoochies are nice and all but not awefully romantic to wake up to a non-schmoop scratchy tongue kissing your face anniversary morning :)
LOL to Pervert the Duck!

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 01:45 PM

Hahaha ... first I was like, wow, those are really cute ... chairs?

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 01:46 PM

and T.,

you might as well get the old typewriter...with any luck you'll write "Purr and Licking in St. Paul"

Account Deleted
 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 01:47 PM

and I can't spell ;) grumble grumbles, still jealous - time to get me a reservation! I can't imagine why, but the Anderson House is so much more appealing than the Dog Bark Park :D

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 01:49 PM

I'm just saying that if you people are all so close that you want to hear about the personal details of each others' lives, then send e-mails to each other. Share photos. Knock yourselves out. Just don't suddenly start posting your own personal blog on a website that, thenceforth, has had nothing to do with you. I'm sorry, but I am just sick and tired of this culture's mass delusion that everyone should want to take an interest in the personal lives of complete strangers. I have no idea who you are, Theo. (Or any of you, for that matter.) Why on earth would I want to read about your bathtub antics? Don't get me wrong. I have absolute respect for your personal lives and personal choices, and I'm sorry for momentarily taking out my frustrations on you. I just don't want to feel like everywhere I go, someone is reading me their diary.

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 01:52 PM

Sheesh. Wake up on the wrong side this morning?

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 01:57 PM

ohhh somebody's a grumpyface. Not to argue but *I* think T's story totally falls under the CO's mission of cuteness and I laughed my head off - it made my day and isn't that the point?

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 01:59 PM

Excellent! I have been to Wabasha several times (to visit the National Eagle Center - if you haven't been there, you must go) and have seen the Anderson house but haven't stopped by. Now I must.

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 02:01 PM

LOL! - I didn't notice until now but Pervert is on the armchair!

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 02:01 PM

HR, maybe you haven't been on this site very long. But some of us have gotten to "know" each other a little bit--and we wanted a report on Theo's trip. That's all.

If you don't like reading, skip it. Or read another website. Better yet, look at a post you do like and cheer up--there are lots of cute ones, here.

A thinker
 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 02:02 PM

"somebody's a grumpyface"? Well, that just tells us everything we need to know about the level of this dialog, doesn't it? (Really, there are no words...)

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 02:06 PM

Um, yeah, I was gonna say the same thing: No one is forcing you to read this web site, HR.

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 02:08 PM

And me lurves ya, too, Mr. Grumps.

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 02:10 PM

This is exactly my point: since when does it involve reading? Cute picture, caption, cute picture, caption. Then, all of a sudden, there's somebody's personal life on the front page. As far as I'm concerned, it's not the same site when you start doing that, and I'm voicing my opinion that the format should return to what it was before.

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 02:11 PM

Dum de dum...

Arbed -- I think you might be onto something, there.

Mariser -- Aloysius wasn't unfriendly or anything. Also, H.A.H. does offer package deals with "cats allowed" rooms; I just opted for a suite. And as for the gonzo box... er, typewriter... we've actually got one stashed somewhere. A real antique, too.

Alice -- gold star for the good eye. Like I said, Perv's a cam whore.

Jen -- actually, I'll freely admit that I found the chairs ugly... but such *cozy* uglies.

Desi -- National Eagle Center?? Tewtelly missed that. Context, please?

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 02:15 PM

(Stage whisper...
Is it just me, or is HR a troll?)

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 02:16 PM

Ahhh, Theo just answered my question. Thanks!

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 02:17 PM

Who could enjoy coming to such a wonderful site as this and then be so unhappy?

T & J, great to hear about the get away - loved the write up! LMAO

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 02:27 PM

Mr. HR Grumpy-Puss:

I don't think you've spent any time at all reading this site. If you had, you silly person, you would have noticed - as I have - that the posts here are some of the wittiest, wordiest, wonderful...est posts you're ever going to come across.

Theo and Jaye are friends. And you want to know what your friends are doing. And we all think Theo would look damn fine in an ornately embroidered kimono.

How about you?

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 02:28 PM

I like a Gershwin tune. How about you?

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 02:36 PM


That's Ms. HR Grumpy-Puss, thank you. And you're quite correct: I haven't spent any time at all reading this site. As previously mentioned, I have no interest in exploring the private lives of strangers. (However fetching they may look in kimonos -- ornately embroidered or otherwise.) I only look at the main page. So, by all means, continue to do whatever it is that you do elsewhere on the site. Just, please, keep it off the main page.

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 02:38 PM

I like New York in June - though I would actually prefer a rainy day in London town.

Irrelevent, of course, since I'm stuck here in Los Angeles.

 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 02:39 PM

You're quite right, HR!
The idea that people with shared interests actually become aware of each others existence through the net and in some cases even talk to each other is absolutely appaling!


 |  Jun 06, 2006 at 02:40 PM

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